Campus News

UB students win legal essay contest


Published May 2, 2018 This content is archived.


Two UB undergraduates won the top two honors in the competition for the SUNY-wide Benjamin and David Scharps Award, a statewide legal essay contest.

Joseph Wolf.

Joseph Wolf

Joseph Wolf of Getzville, a social science interdisciplinary major with a concentration in legal studies, won first place in the competition and the $1,500 prize. Ethan Wolfson-Seeley of Holliston, Mass., an English major, took second place and the $1,000 prize.

“It is an honor that two of our UB students were recognized at the state-wide level for their legal essay writing ability,” says Megan Stewart, UB’s fellowships and scholarships adviser. “The awards speak to the students’ strengths in composition and analytical thinking.

Ethan Wolfson-Seeley.

Ethan Wolfson-Seeley

“We hope that UB students continue to apply for this annual award.”

The essays focused on the legal implications of denying the request of a student group — the Sarasota State College Young Americans — to host a controversial speaker named Dick Spengler. While the student group and the speaker are fictitious, the scenario is one that confronts college across the nation.

The Benjamin and David Scharps Memorial Award was established in the will of Hannah S. Hirschhorn in honor of her brothers, Benjamin and David Scharp, both of whom who were attorneys. The gift for the award was accepted by the SUNY Board of Trustees in 1974. The funds have been used to award juniors or seniors who are prelaw or have an interest in legal studies.